PhD Position in the Area of Digital Twins: Automatic Calibration and Decision Making

Gløshaugen, Norway
10 Dec 2019
End of advertisement period
18 Jan 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

Increasingly, operational and maintenance decisions are made based on digital twins (models) of a process system. Examples include production optimization based on production system models, soft sensors for flow metering, or disposed water quality management, maintenance schedules.

The main objective of this project is to study and develop strategies for automatic calibration and maintenance of the process model when the process and the measurement sensor properties change. A second aspect of the research will be to study how this affects the decisions that are made based on the model.

This PhD position is part of the Centre for research-based innovation named subsea production and processing (SUBPRO). The Norwegian oil and gas industry is in the forefront with respect to subsea field developments, but new and innovative solutions are still required to meet current and future challenges. To accelerate the level of innovations within subsea production and processing, SUBPRO was established at NTNU in 2015. The Centre is supported by the Research Council of Norway and several international industry partners. For more information about SUBPRO, please visit our website:

Main duties and responsibilities

  • This PhD project will explore the use of tools from system identification, first principles and data-driven modelling, and numerical optimization to         
    • Quantify the accuracy of the model
    • Determine when and how to update the model structure and its parameters
  • A special focus will be on combining system identification approaches and first-principles modelling, in order to ensure that the model evolves together with the process
  • Study the interplay between the model update and achieving optimal operation
  • The developed methods may be tested in the SUBPRO Erosion lab and industrial case studies from the industrial partners in SUBPRO

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in [subject area] or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

Other qualifications


  • The successful candidate should have a background in process systems engineering
  • Good written and oral English language skills

In addition, the following is desirable:

  • Experience with system identification
  • Experience in first principles process modelling
  • Experience with Design of Experiments
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Experience with optimization and decision-making for process operations, control or design
  • Good scientific computing skills with experience in Matlab, Python, Julia, and/or other programming languages

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Personal characteristics

  • Well-structured
  • High level of personal responsibility and initiative
  • Willingness to work independently as well as part of a team in accordance to project objectives

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years (with the possibility to extend to 4 years with teaching duties). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Chemical Engineering at NTNU. As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Johannes Jäschke, phone +47 73593691, e-mail

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number 304/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 18.01.2020

Deadline 18th January 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen

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